Q My company throws a big end-of-year office party, usually cocktail-hour, directly after work. Should I change, and if so, into what? —Emily
A Dear Emily, Changing at the office for the office party is officially Trying Much Too Hard. Start by wearing a totally fabulous outfit the day of; then, add or subtract. Your fabulous outfit should be neither short nor low-cut nor overly tight. Sexy—even if you have a wild crush on a coworker—is always, always wrong. “There are so many ways to look festive and cute and special without falling into the trap of too sexy or too holiday: You know, the bright red dress?” says fashion director Anne Keane.
The easiest outfit, in my estimation, is a sleeveless dress in a pattern or a color (that’s not red). You wear a cardigan or jacket over it for day; for the party, your bare arms make it evening but not sexy. Then you add accessories. “Accessories are the key,” says Anne. “There are great sparkly glitter clutches and cross-body bags now that are perfect.” Anne loves a stack of bangles, a statement shoe that’s glittery or metallic, and of course, jewelry. “I’m loving big earrings right now,” she says. “Like, full-on Dannijo multi-colored rhinestone earrings!”
A sparkly T-shirt is a great idea, Anne says, or even a graphic skirt. Most of all, Anne—like the rest of the fashion department—is enchanted with the evening jacket and/or suit for parties: “What about a fitted satin jacket?” So if all else fails, refer back to Alexa Chung—but in this case: shirt underneath! Postscript: I finished this story, and I went to a party. There was Alexa Chung, in a slim black suit!